Unit 2: Healthy Eating • Lesson 3: Digestion and Excretion
Digestion Digestion is the process by which the body breaks down food into smaller pieces that can be absorbed by the blood and sent to each cell in your body. Food is processed in your body by the digestive system, which is the group of organs that work together to break down foods into substances that your cells can use.
Where does digestion begin? Digestion begins in your mouth.When you crush food with your teeth, saliva mixes with the food. Amylase, an enzyme in saliva, begins breaking down carbohydrates in the food. Saliva is a digestive juice produced by the salivary glands in your mouth. An enzyme is a substance that aids in the body’s chemical reaction.
Your Digestive Organs After you swallow, food moves into your esophagus, then into your stomach, then into the small intestines. The small intestine is a coiled tube from 20 to 23 feet long, in which about 90 percent of digestion takes place. The liver and pancreas are two important organs in the digestive system. The liver is a digestive gland that secretes a substance called bile, which helps to digest fats. The pancreas is a gland that helps the small intestine by producing pancreatic juice, a blend of enzymes that breaks down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Your Digestive Organs The colon is the last stop for solid food the body can’t digest. The colon is a tube five to six feet in length that plays a part in both digestion and excretion. Any water, vitamins, minerals, and salts left in the food mixture are absorbed by the colon.
Removing Waste Excretion is the process the body uses to get rid of waste. The excretory system is the group of organs that work together to remove wastes. It also control’s the body’s water levels. The kidneys are organs that remove waste material, including salts, from the blood. They also help in the production of red blood cells and the regulation of blood pressure. The bladder stores urine until it is ready to be passed out of the body.
Removing Waste Your body’s solid wastes are called feces, which are stored in the colon until that organ becomes full. Strong muscles in the wall of the colon begin to contract, which is a signal that the colon must be emptied.
Tips for Caring for Your Digestive and Excretory Systems Brush your teeth at leasttwice a day, floss, and getdental checkups twice a year. Eat a balanceddiet with low-fat,high-fiber foods Get regular physical activity. Drink plentyof water. Caring for Your Digestive and Excretory Systems